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Exploring Athens: A Perfect 5-Day Itinerary for First-Time Visitors

Updated: Mar 19

Athens, the cradle of Western civilization! With its rich history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking landmarks, this ancient city offers a plethora of experiences for every traveler. Whether you're a history buff, an art enthusiast, or a foodie, Athens has something special in store for you. Join us on a five-day journey as we uncover the best attractions and hidden gems this magnificent city has to offer.


Acropolis and Parthenon

Day 1: Acropolis and Parthenon Kickstart your Athens adventure with a visit to the iconic Acropolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marvel at the majestic Parthenon, a symbol of ancient Greek civilization, and immerse yourself in the rich history of this sacred hill.


Temple of Athena Nike

Don't forget to explore the other ancient structures, including the Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike, each offering unique insights into the city's architectural legacy.


Plaka and Anafiotika

Day 2: Plaka and Anafiotika Take a stroll through the charming neighborhoods of Plaka and Anafiotika, nestled beneath the slopes of the Acropolis. Lose yourself in the narrow cobblestone streets lined with neoclassical buildings, quaint tavernas, and artisan shops.


Greek tavern

Don't miss the chance to sample traditional Greek cuisine at one of the many tavernas, where you can savor mouthwatering dishes like moussaka, souvlaki, and baklava.


National Archaeological Museum

Day 3: National Archaeological Museum Dive deeper into Greece's rich history with a visit to the National Archaeological Museum, home to one of the world's most extensive collections of ancient artifacts.


Bronze Statue of Poseidon

From exquisite sculptures and pottery to intricate frescoes and jewelry, this museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the ancient Greeks. Highlights include the Antikythera Mechanism, the Mask of Agamemnon, and the Bronze Statue of Poseidon.


Mount Lycabettus and Lycabettus Hill

Day 4: Mount Lycabettus and Lycabettus Hill Escape the hustle and bustle of the city with a hike up Mount Lycabettus, the highest point in Athens. Enjoy panoramic views of the cityscape and the Aegean Sea from the summit, where you'll find the picturesque Chapel of St. George.


Kolonaki Square

For a more leisurely ascent, take the funicular railway from Kolonaki Square to the top of Lycabettus Hill, where you can relax and soak in the stunning vistas.


Glyfada

Day 5: Athens Riviera and Cape Sounion Wrap up your Athens adventure with a day trip to the Athens Riviera and Cape Sounion. Relax on the pristine beaches of Glyfada, Vouliagmeni, or Varkiza, where you can swim, sunbathe, or indulge in water sports.


Cape Sounion to visit the Temple of Poseidon

In the afternoon, head to Cape Sounion to visit the Temple of Poseidon, perched atop a cliff overlooking the sparkling waters of the Aegean. Catch a mesmerizing sunset as you marvel at this ancient marvel's timeless beauty.


Erechtheion

Getting Around

Athens, the vibrant capital of Greece, is a city steeped in history and culture, boasting ancient landmarks, bustling markets, and charming neighborhoods. Navigating this bustling metropolis can be an adventure in itself, but with a variety of transportation options available, exploring Athens has never been easier.


Read our Transportation Guide for Athens here.


Where to stay

Whether you're a budget traveler seeking affordable comfort or a luxury seeker looking for opulence, Athens offers a wide range of accommodations to suit every taste and budget. In this guide, we'll explore the diverse options available at different price points, ensuring your stay in the Greek capital is nothing short of memorable.


Budget-Friendly Options:

  • Hostels: Ideal for backpackers and solo travelers, hostels in Athens offer dormitory-style accommodation at budget-friendly rates. Look for options like Athens Backpackers or City Circus Athens Hostel, known for their lively atmospheres, social vibes, and central locations.

  • Guesthouses: For a more intimate experience without breaking the bank, consider staying at one of Athens' guesthouses. These family-run establishments offer cozy rooms with a personal touch. Check out places like Plaka Hotel or Attalos Hotel, conveniently situated near major attractions.

  • Budget Hotels: If you prefer the privacy of a hotel room but still want to stick to a budget, Athens has plenty of affordable options. Look for hotels like Hotel Platon or Hotel Cosmopolit, which offer clean and comfortable rooms without sacrificing convenience.

Mid-Range Comfort:

  • Boutique Hotels: Athens boasts a plethora of boutique hotels that combine style, comfort, and affordability. Experience personalized service and unique design elements at places like A77 Suites by Andronis or COCO-MAT Hotel Athens.

  • Apartment Rentals: Opting for an apartment rental can be a great way to enjoy more space and flexibility during your stay. Websites like Airbnb offer a variety of apartments in Athens, ranging from cozy studios to spacious lofts, allowing you to live like a local while exploring the city.

  • 3-Star Hotels: If you're looking for a comfortable stay with modern amenities at a reasonable price, consider booking a room at one of Athens' 3-star hotels. Options like Hotel Phidias or Hotel Arethusa offer great value for money and are located within easy reach of key attractions.

Luxurious Indulgence:

  • 5-Star Hotels: Treat yourself to a lavish stay at one of Athens' luxurious 5-star hotels, where impeccable service and opulent amenities await. Experience the height of luxury at iconic establishments like Hotel Grande Bretagne or King George, both offering breathtaking views of the Acropolis and top-notch facilities.

  • Boutique Luxury: For a more intimate luxury experience, consider booking a room at one of Athens' boutique luxury hotels. Places like New Hotel or The Margi offer stylish accommodations, gourmet dining experiences, and indulgent spa treatments, ensuring a truly unforgettable stay.

  • Luxury Apartments and Villas: For the ultimate in privacy and extravagance, consider renting a luxury apartment or villa in Athens. With amenities like private pools, panoramic views, and personalized concierge services, properties like Athens Luxury Suites or Villa Meliti offer a luxurious home away from home.


When to visit Athens

Athens, with its Mediterranean climate, offers something unique in each season, from the vibrant blooms of spring to the sun-drenched days of summer and the crisp air of autumn.


Read our Weather Guide for Athens here.


As you bid farewell to Athens, take with you memories of ancient wonders, warm hospitality, and unforgettable experiences. Until next time, yasas and efharisto for exploring this magical city with us!


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Exploring Athens: A Perfect 5-Day Itinerary for First-Time Visitors

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